Based on a partnership with Urology Times, articles from the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU) provide updates on legislative processes and issues affecting urologists. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Contact the AACU government affairs office at 847-517-1050 or [email protected] for more information.
Increasing scrutiny of the pharmaceutical supply chain by the public and policymakers alike has prompted some major insurers to promise that a portion of rebates garnered from drug manufacturers will be passed onto patients. On the heels of UnitedHealth’s decision in early March to pass on rebates to its beneficiaries, Aetna announced that it would follow suit. Between both insurers, roughly 10 million patients on fully insured commercial plans may finally benefit from the discounts negotiated between payers and producers.
The White House and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have considered adding a similar pass-through provision to Medicare, allowing its beneficiaries to access cost savings from manufacturers. Such a move is vehemently opposed by the insurance industry, however, which argues that while insurers are willing to make the change in the private market, requiring the same consideration for Medicare beneficiaries would cause premiums to skyrocket.
The AACU has previously written on the pharmaceutical supply chain and the role that rebates collected by payers' pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have played in inflating prescription drug costs for patients. In an environment where patients are paying more for their medications while payers continuously pay less, the news from Aetna and UnitedHealth is welcome.